In the 2020 Combined Management Report, PUMA had forecasted at least a moderate currency-adjusted increase in sales for the financial year 2021, due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This outlook was increased several times during the year and, at the end of the third quarter, PUMA anticipated a currency-adjusted increase in sales of at least 25% for the financial year 2021. Thanks to continued brand momentum, successful product launches and a strong focus on flexibility in business operations, PUMA was able to outperform the adjusted outlook for the full-year 2021, significantly exceeding the original sales target.
More details on sales development in the financial year 2021 are provided below.
PUMA's net sales in the reporting currency, the euro, increased by 30.0% to € 6,805.4 million in the financial year 2021 (previous year: € 5,234.4 million). Adjusted for currency exchange effects, sales increased by 31.7%. PUMA thus succeeded in continuing the sales growth of previous financial years after a decline in sales in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. All regions and all product divisions contributed to this development in 2021 with double-digit growth rates.
In the Footwear division, sales in the reporting currency, the euro, rose by 33.6% to € 3,163.6 million. Currency-adjusted sales increased by 36.0%. The strongest growth was achieved in the Sportstyle and Running & Training categories. The share of the Footwear division in total net sales rose from 45.2% in the previous year to 46.5% in 2021.
Sales in the Apparel division in the reporting currency, the euro, increased by 27.5% to € 2,517.3 million. Currency-adjusted sales grew by 28.6%. The Sportstyle category was the main driver of sales growth. The Running & Training and Teamsport categories also contributed to this growth. The share of the Apparel division decreased slightly to 37.0% of Group sales (previous year: 37.7%).
The Accessories division recorded a 26.0% growth in sales in the reporting currency, the euro, to € 1,124.5 million, equivalent to currency-adjusted sales growth of 27.2%. The growth in sales was in particular driven by higher sales of socks and bodywear and of Cobra golf clubs. The division's share of Group sales fell from 17.1% in the previous year to 16.5% in 2021.
PUMA's own retail activities include direct sales to our consumers ("Direct-to-Consumer business"). This includes selling to our customers in PUMA's own retail stores, the so-called "Full Price Stores" and "Factory Outlets." Our e-commerce business on our own online platforms and on the platforms of online retailers, which we refer to as "marketplaces," is also part of the direct sales to our consumers. Our own retail businesses ensure regional availability of PUMA products and the presentation of the PUMA brand in an environment suitable to our brand positioning.
PUMA's retail sales increased by 22.8% currency-adjusted to € 1,724.8 million in the financial year 2021. This corresponds to a share of 25.3% in total sales (previous year: 27.2%). Sales in PUMA's own retail stores recorded a currency-adjusted increase of 30.3% in 2021 following the temporary closure of stores in numerous countries around the world due to restrictions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in the previous year. In contrast, there were only isolated retail store closures in 2021. In the e-commerce business, currency-adjusted sales increased by 11.3% in 2021, following extremely strong sales growth of over 60% in the previous year. This development in 2021 reflects the fact that consumers still value the shopping experience in retail stores, following a shift in consumer shopping behavior towards increased online shopping in the previous year. Notwithstanding, our e-commerce activities were particularly successful on special days in the online business, such as Singles' Day in China on November 11, the world's largest online shopping day, as well as on Black Friday on November 26 and Cyber Monday on November 29.
PUMA grants licenses to independent partners for various product divisions, such as watches, glasses, safety shoes and gaming accessories such as the Playseat. In addition to design, development and manufacture, these companies are also responsible for product distribution. Income from license agreements also includes some distribution licenses for different markets. After PUMA's royalty and commission income fell in the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 financial year saw a 48.2% increase in royalty and commission income to € 23.9 million (previous year: € 16.1 million).